Friday, 27 November 2015, 04:30am
Eoin Morgan insists England will give the young guns a run
Billings' selection for the first match of three, along with that of debutant James Vince and the returning Liam Plunkett, were all handsomely vindicated as England went 1-0 up.
Morgan found himself explaining the reasons first-choice pair Jos Buttler and Joe Root were omitted, and he had no hesitation citing a rare opportunity to test England's most talented young players - in the asbence of any provided on home soil by the NatWest T20 Blast.
That tournament is commonly viewed as a poor relation to the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash, both later additions to a format pioneered in England but ones which attract higher-profile international players.
England are therefore in a hurry to find out as much as possible as quickly as possible, in time for the ICC World Twenty20 next March, about how their own rising stars react to pressure situations.
At 19 for three after Morgan won the toss, Vince had one ready-made - and his 41 set the stage for Billings (53) to race to his half-century in just 24 balls.
"We want to see as much as we can of it," said Morgan, after Plunkett and Reece Topley had then taken three wickets each to bowl the hosts out for 146 in reply to 160 for five.
"In county cricket, we just don't have a good enough tournament for guys to be exposed to it as often as we'd like.
"I think this is a good tour to expose as many guys as we can to it.
"If it means senior guys sit out, so be it."
Buttler was rested at the ground where he hit England's fastest-ever one-day international hundred just six days earlier, and he may have more time on his hands - even with two matches still to come quickly at the end of this tour.
"We're trying to expand the squad as much as we can," added Morgan.
"For the benefit long term ... we'll probably see that more so throughout the series."
England's cause was helped by a ridiculous run-out at a crucial point of Pakistan's chase, in which Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood ended up racing one another for the safe end.
It was the first of three wickets to fall for one run - and with a rueful half-smile, coach Waqar Younis said: "The way they ran, they both should have been run out!
"It was very poor."
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Eoin Morgan's England went 1-0 up with two to play against Pakistan